“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

“In videos, sculptures, and installations, Nauman has persistently used linguistic play and spatial manipulation to probe the fears and desires that underlie perception.”

“Nauman does not add to my own experience of art so much as cast in an unflattering light, and even plunge into tormenting doubt, the generality of that experience.” So wrote Peter Schjeldahl in Art in America in 1994, responding to a Bruce Nauman survey at the Reina Sofía in Madrid. In videos, sculptures, and installations, Nauman has persistently used linguistic play and spatial manipulation to probe the fears and desires that underlie perception. This retrospective at MoMA PS1 (which debuted at the Schaulager in Münchenstein, Switzerland, in spring 2018), includes over 120 works, tracing the themes and questions that the artist has repeatedly turned to in his half-century career. A concurrent presentation at the Museum of Modern Art features six large-scale installations from the 1970s that heighten one’s sense of embodiment through disorienting effects of illusion and confinement. All in all, the exhibition promises to leave viewers “exalted and beaten up,” as Schjeldahl once felt.